Day One of GOP convention: The light and the darkness

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After watching as much as I could bear of the GOP convention last night, I gained a little insight into why the phrase “Make America Great Again” has such resonance for some people.

It’s because the America that they see is a sad and terrifying place, under assault from within and without and about to tumble into an abyss from which it may never emerge  Dark clouds and dark people threaten it, and only the Golden One, with his very good brain and very strong “strength” — seriously, you cannot believe how strong his strength is — can rescue us.

For the most part, these dire descriptions of America’s future were delivered by a string of what are purported to be reality TV stars, which I guess is appropriate given that the GOP nominee is himself a reality TV star. Certainly, the speakers’ resumes were impressive — “Duck Dynasty,” “The Apprentice,” “Celebrity Wife Swap,” “The Real World” — this is now the pool from which we draw our country’s new class of inspirational leaders and political analysts, and the results were impressive.

For example, one Calvin Klein model/reality TV/soap opera star revealed to us after his speech that Barack Obama is not actually a Christian.

“I’ve met a lot of Christians. I know Christians,” Antonio Sabàto (“Celebrity Wife Swap”,” Celebrity Circus”) told ABC News. “I am one, and I don’t believe he is. I believe that he’s on the other side — the Middle East. He’s with the bad guys. He’s with them. He’s not with us. He’s not with this country.”

chachiopeningScott Baio of “Happy Days” — for you millennials, that was a TV show from way back in the ’70s, which in turn looked back nostalgically to the ’50s — caught the wistful mood of the night perfectly:

“You can feel it and you can see it everywhere. There’s no stability, nothing seems right and all the things that we hold dear are being attacked every single day. We cannot go down this road any more. We need to stop.”

And under Donald Trump, you know what we’ll get?

“Sunday, Monday, Happy Days,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days,
Thursday, Friday, Happy Days
Saturday, what a day
Groovin’ all week with you!”

Baio did reassure us that no, despite what you might believe, Donald Trump is not the messiah, “he’s just a man who wants to give back to his country.” In fact, Trump’s amazing, world-class humility and self-sacrifice seems to be one of the developing themes of the week. “I am, actually, humble,” Donald himself said on “60 Minutes” Sunday night. “I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.”

In terms of humility, Mother Teresa was a loser compared to Donald.

The one bright moment of Monday night came when Melania Trump came onstage to speak to America. She explained how she had come to this country some 20 years ago as a simple, starving supermodel, wearing nothing but the Christian Dior on her back, and how much she loved the man and the country that had taken her in.

Like Baio, she extolled “the simple goodness of the heart that God gave Donald Trump,” and promised great things ahead.

“Now is the time to use those gifts as never before, for purposes far greater than ever before. And he will do this better than anyone else can… and it won’t even be close. Everything depends on it, for our cause and for our country.”

The most moving portion of her speech, a speech that Mrs. Trump told reporters that she had written herself, from her heart, came when she revealed how her parents back in Slovenia, Amalia and Viktor, had taught her that “you work hard for what you want in life,” that “that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect.”

“We need to pass those lessons on to many generations to follow because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them,” she told the cheering crowd, which seemed ecstatic to hear this affirmation of all that makes America great.

It was a nice moment, the highlight of the night, but as it turned out later, it was even more amazing than we knew, because Michelle Obama’s parents, Fraser and Marian, had taught her THE EXACT SAME THING!

“… Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them,” Michelle Obama said in her own convention speech in 2008. “And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Coincidence? Hah. You see things like that, and you realize that those who predict decline and decay for this country are simply flat-out wrong. Because what are the odds that we might have two consecutive First Ladies — one raised on the South Side of Chicago, the other in far-off Slovenia — who would have been taught the exact same thing, in much the same words?  That kind of thing doesn’t happen just by accident. It’s a sign that despite the naysayers, this country is still blessed, that American exceptionalism and greatness remain our national destiny.

I am so comforted by that knowledge.

 

Reader Comments 0

1195 comments
playtoe
playtoe

Bookman should be a writer for the Huffington Post. This is such silly stuff. 99% of what anyone says has been said before by someone. Is it ok for people to share the same values?

Corliss Brown
Corliss Brown

The circus is poppin....the CLOWNS....ARE CLOWNS

Kim Rippere
Kim Rippere

These two are lying stealing buffoons. At best.

Susan Lamb
Susan Lamb

I don't agree but @ least you spelled that entire thought correctly! Kuddos! Not the norm amongst adults these days

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 "they overlook a key sentence that was undeniably written by Mrs. Trump"


One sentence out of a a speech with two plagiarized paragraphs. That's nice td that she was able to come up with a sentence.  Now if only she could put two together and write her own damn speech you might have a point.

rimsky
rimsky

According to two sources, Monday afternoon lawyers for 21st Century Fox gave Ailes a deadline of August 1 to resign or face being fired for cause. Ailes’s legal team — which now includes Susan Estrich, former campaign manager for Michael Dukakis — has yet to respond to the offer. Ailes has also received advice on strategy from Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, sources say./////

Why those morons advising Ailes.

This going to be interesting.

rimsky
rimsky

Sources: Megyn Kelly Told Murdoch Investigators That Roger Ailes Sexually Harassed Her////

I am patting myself on the back.

I called that right.

Go git him Megyn.

While at it spill the beans on Trump harassing you.

Bubba R Trickledon
Bubba R Trickledon

I guess they saving the mud rasslin and monster trucks for the big finalee.

td1234
td1234

"As the media pours over one passage in Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention speech that is similar to Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention, they overlook a key sentence that was undeniably written by Mrs. Trump and reveals all the difference in the world between these two women and their husbands.

“On July 28th, 2006, I was very proud to become a citizen of the United States — the greatest privilege on planet Earth,” the smiling Mrs. Trump said to thunderous applause."


...


What a difference these sentiments are to Michelle Obama’s infamous remarks during the 2008 campaign, when she said, “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.”

Why was she suddenly proud “for the first time” in her “adult life”? Because her husband was running for president.

rimsky
rimsky

@td1234 No thanks.  I will rather have a root canal.

stefpe
stefpe

@td1234 "undeniably written by Mrs. Trump"

Or one of her team of speech writers.

Considering her terrible accent, I really doubt she could've written anything close to as eloquent as that speech.

rimsky
rimsky

Melania Trump’s Claims She Graduated From College Are About As Credible As Her Speech Last Night“She became ― and remained ― a college dropout.”/////

I don't know who is running his campaign but sounds like they are stupid morons.

If they had "sorry for the plagiarism" she would not be on the spot light now.  

It is going to excruciating for the cons to see them bend like a pretzel.  

Funny though.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

From Twitter....

"I don't want no scrub, A scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me"

#FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes

TBS
TBS

Did she tell the audience "don't going chasing waterfalls"?

td1234
td1234

All these politicians are cowards and will not stand with their party. First it was the Republicans and now the Democrats. 


"When Democrats gather next week to crown Hillary Clinton as their presidential nominee, some of the party's top Senate challengers won't be there. 

A handful of Senate Democratic hopefuls are planning to skip the convention because of conflicting schedules or to campaign in their home states."


Campaigns for Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) confirmed to The Hill that the candidates won't attend the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The three Democratic hopefuls are in competitive Senate races that could determine which party controls the upper chamber next year. Democrats needs to pick up five Senate seats — four if they keep the presidency — to win the majority.

Both Kirkpatrick and Cortez Masto are expected to use the week to campaign. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whom Kirkpatrick will likely face off against in November, also skipped his party's convention this week in Cleveland. 

Feingold said last month that he never intended to attend the party's convention. 

"I just don't usually spent a lot of time at national conventions if I'm running because there is much more to be done here in the state," he said during a campaign stop, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "It's just because I believe we're working on a grass-roots campaign."

Meanwhile, Jason Kander, a Democrat running to unseat Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), is also skipping the party powwow citing a scheduling conflict. 

"Due to the number of events we have in Missouri next week, Jason won't be able to make it to the convention," Anne Feldman, a spokeswoman for Kander's campaign said in a statement Tuesday. "He was looking forward to supporting Missouri's delegates in Philadelphia but will make sure to catch up with them when they come home." 


http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/288365-senate-challengers-to-skip-dem-convention



rimsky
rimsky

@td1234 It is called politics my dear fellow.  Get elected by hook or by crook.

TBS
TBS

Get elected or go down in defeat doing whatever they can in attempts to get elected. Not all but way too many imo.

Weak to avoid your party's convention

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@td1234 

It looks like almost 50 Republicans are afraid to be seen with Trump...

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Your site's hanging in limbo again, jay.

How low can it go? 

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@TBS Communication and respect is key to calming this down.

BabyCakesATL
BabyCakesATL

@TBS I imagine there are daily examples of good will between police officers and the communities they serve.  But "if it doesn't bleed it doesn't lead"  in our 24/7 infotainment news cycle.  All it takes is for a bad cop or a stupid psycho criminal to set off the media frenzy which feeds the flames of ignorance, fear, hate and divisiveness.  Too bad, really..

rimsky
rimsky

@BuckeyeGa @TBS Communication and respect is key to calming this down./////

This afternoon on NPR was interviewing an ex police chief.  He said a while back the police and the community used have 1 to 1 interaction and community and police interactions.  That way there was no misunderstanding.  But over time that interaction stopped.

In his opinion it should be restarted.

TBS
TBS

Agreed

Dano911
Dano911

The RNC, should be on Comedy Central, as it is so hilarious.  As a lifelong Democrat, I plan on ordering wings and having some beverages while watching this circus.  Best fun I've had in along time.   I mean look at the speakers,  Scott Baio, from Happy Days,  ROFLMAO!    Why not get the Fonz too LOL! 

The celebrity wife swap guy claiming Obama wasn't Christian was the best.  He said that Obama was on the other side, the middle east.  WTF?  I guess he forgets that Christianity was founded in the middle east, and who is this dude anyway. 

The RNC will win an Emmy award for best comedy production, hands down!